Marine accounting open to competition

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials earlier this month announced they will begin conducting an A-76 competition of the Marine Corps Accounting Services, based in Kansas City, Mo.

The competition will pit commercial vendors against government employees for the opportunity to perform the accounting services.

Such competitions traditionally take as long as three years, but under the revised Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 released this week, competition should be limited to about one year.

Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for DFAS, said the agency has not had time to evaluate the new A-76 rules to determine how, or if, this particular competition would be affected.

DFAS is a Defense Department agency in charge of the financial management of the department, its agencies and the military services. Hubbard said the agency carefully looks at each of its business areas to determine where efficiencies can be improved.

"DFAS looks at all of its product lines to determine which are good candidates for competition," Hubbard said. "We conducted a business case analysis in the spring and determined the Marine Corps Accounting Services is a great candidate."

Greg Bitz, DFAS executive for the Marine Corps Accounting Services, said the goal of this competition is to improve service to customers and reduce costs for DOD and taxpayers.

"The DFAS Marine Corps accounting team has a great record of providing quality service to the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps," Bitz said. "The decision to conduct an A-76 gives DFAS people the opportunity to take a close look at how we conduct business, how we can perform better and how we can increase the value of the services we provide."

The competition will involve about 318 civilian and 72 military positions, according to DFAS. Those positions are located in Missouri, Hawaii and Japan.

To date, DFAS has conducted six A-76 competitions. In five of those, the government retained the work with increased efficiency, according to DFAS. In the sixth competition — for military retiree and annuitant pay services — the function was contracted to Affiliated Computer Services Inc. However, a DOD inspector general report released March 21 found that DFAS overestimated what it would have cost the government to perform the work. DFAS officials are still evaluating that contract.

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